People of San Francisco

Jamie is who I recall most from San Francisco. She was a good friend. A naturally funny person.

One night we were walking. We got on the bus. “Someone stepped in it,” she said. What she meant was dog poop. “Oh it was me,” she exclaimed. Everyone on the bus laughed. A few people moved away from her. It smelled bad. At the next stop someone got on the bus. They sat behind her. And right away waved their hand in front of their nose. Everyone laughed again.

Another time, she messed up her own hair. Pulled her hair sticking straight out. Then we walked around downtown acting crazy. “Something wrong with my hair,” she asked people. A person was checking something in their eye in a window. “I see what is in your eye, your finger,” she joked.

Jamie once joked about getting a dog. In the city shelters wouldn’t give pets to homeless people. She imagined going in to get a pet. “Where will it exercise?” she imagined them asking. Her answer was in the backyard. Followed by the punch line, “now we know you’re lying. No one in San Francisco has a backyard.”

She was friend with a girl named Chloe. And I had a small crush on Chloe. The two of them had been friends for a long time. Once they had been in Fresno, and got caught shoplifting. They lied to the police about their names. But while waiting, Chloe turned and said, “hey Jamie look at this.” Busted.

She taught me about leftover food. You watch and wait while people eat. When they get up you rush the table before a bus person. Then take what they leave. Once we were together and we did this at a restaurant. We both sat down. But she had to pee. She came back a few moments later. The owner had told her no restroom. He came behind her.

“Are you with him?” He was Asian and sounded upset. But I said we were together. Then he apologized and let her use the bathroom. It was funny, he thought we were customers.

I know Jamie could have done great things with her life. I hope she has made the most of her talents.

I met summer in a long funny episode. And her friend Yo. I forget her real name.

It started in Berkeley. I haven’t talked about Berkeley yet but I will soon. I was on campus at an event called the Hate Circle. There were two girls there, and we started talking. They were looking for People’s Park. We walked to the park. They told me their plans to sleep in the park. I warned them off the idea. Then offered to let them camp with me.

During the night I got close with one of the girls. They had flown from Salt Lake City to sleep in People’s Park. The next day they wanted to go to San Francisco. I wanted to go to the city. One of them was really cute. And the drama was too good to miss. We took BART.

Once on Haight I figured we needed to find blankets for the girls. In the process I met Summer and Yo. Summer and I started to beg for blankets. And the girls went shopping. Summer, Yo and I were confused. We figured they had to be lying about something. We started to take apart the whole story. We picked at details for hours and hours.

I call her Yo because of what she told me once. She was a smart girl. “If you say yo after everything you say, it becomes addictive,” she said. Yo try yo it yo see yo for yo yourself yo what yo I yo mean.

At on point the girls walked up while we were talking about them. But I don’t think they heard us. All day long we tried to get blankets. And then we couldn’t find the girls. Summer and I camped in the park. But we chose a bad spot. It was on a slope and we slide off the cardboard over and over all night. We weren’t involved. Though I liked her a lot.

The next day it turned out the girls had gone home with some guys. But not just any guys, The Horribles. These were a group Summer knew. They used drugs, wore old fashioned clothes. They pretended to be a band. Summer said one of the girls had been involved with one of the guys. But they hadn’t had sex.

The girls were there for a couple days. And the whole time we were confused. Summer, Yo and I didn’t believe their story. Who flies to the bay area to camp outside?

I did meet the one of the girls at a gathering years later. So, they may have been sincere. The sad part of the story is about Summer. Turns out she was on drugs. I know because one day walking down Haight Street I saw her with a group. As I walked up I saw her doing a line.

I met a mugger on Haight Street. We actually spent time together a couple times. She didn’t mug me, but what she did bother me. And one day I did see her get arrested.

Her normal ploy was to meet teenage girls on the street. Then offer to get them high in the park. They would walk to the park. Of course you have to hideout to get high. When they found a location, she would threaten them if they didn’t turn over goods and money. One of the last times I saw her, she had taken her act to the street. Right on Haight Street she was forcing someone to turn over valuables.

I only knew her a short time. But an interesting woman crossed my path in the city. It was at a Hispanic restaurant, popular for its good food. I was in a part of the restaurant waiting for someone to leave something to eat. She saw me, and we started to chat.

The next day we met. We took a walk in the park. She had a camera and took pictures of the park. And took pictures of me. Her job was at one of the shops along Haight Street. When I went once to look for her, I couldn’t find her. And I had forgotten her name. I let a great person slip right out of my life.

Another person I let slip out of my life was Kerith. I met her while walking along Haight. She was looking for someplace. I took her there, and then we went to the park. I wanted to kiss her, and she could tell. She said I shouldn’t.

But then we became good friends. I spent a lot of time with her in the city. And called her from Santa Cruz. One time we were walking, and I started to cross the street. But she had paused. I looked back at her, “I know better than just crossing the street with you,” she smiled.

Her boy friend was no good. The house was a meth house. And she deserved better. I know one time I called and talked to her about some girl troubles of mine. I think it was the whole Amy, M and Jenn drama.

Another time we were with her friend. We walked by a statue of Shiva in a window on Castro Street. Her friend identified the statue as being Shiva. But I told him he was wrong. I had just read a book which said there wasn’t images of Shiva. But maybe I mis-understood because I was wrong. I told her later, and she said it was just as well. If her friend knew he was right, it would just go to his head.

She was a good friend.

There was a girl who made jewelry for money. The last time I saw her she sold from a table on Market Street. She was doing it the legal way. And while she was homeless, she was renting an office for work space and storage. I asked if she ever slept in the office. And she said a couple times, but she tried to not spend the night.

There was a strange period in the city when girls were crazy for me. It started somewhat in Berkeley. I had met a girl there and we went to the park. We talked and then started making out. She was pretty. I hope I didn’t hurt her, because I left town soon after.

In San Francisco I met up with a group of girls. One was young and pregnant. I thought she was cute, and even imagine for a moment a life we could have together. One night the group of us went to Castro to spange. I was making out on the bus with another girl in the group. Then while we spanged on Castro. All the girls were young. After a while we rode the bus back to where the group camped. But one of the girls had to ride a bus in the morning. I walked with her for a while, and stayed up with her. She told me another girl in the group said I was dirty. So she didn’t want to do anything with me. And I guess my behavior at the time was pretty dirty.

It was actually too much for me. I met another girl downtown. She seemed like a good friend. We hung out a couple times. Next thing I know we are sitting next to the bay. And she starts making out with me. Okay, I know it sounds like I was passive. And I wasn’t. It just wasn’t what I expected.

She took me to a concert, The Smashing Pumpkins. Then afterwards we went to her house. She was drunk. We had sex. It was terrible. I never saw her again. And it makes me a little sad. None of it was what I expected, and I wonder if she feels like I used her. I was confused.

One of the most amazing people I met in San Francisco was Moon Raven. She was my dream for a while. We met and camped out in the park together. A younger boy was with her, and they said he was her brother. Moon Raven taught me some Warrant songs. She was creative and flighty.

The night we camped together was in Panhandle Park. We got wet from the sprinklers. The next day we went to Santa Cruz. And she broke my heart, and soon she was gone.

Maybe a year later she was back. I was in a different place in my life. But I still loved her. Even today I love her. M found a rose quartz crystal next to the river once. For some reason I had the crystal on me. One day I was walking with Jenn and Moon Raven. Afterwards I never saw the crystal again. M thought and I thought for a long time Jenn had taken it. But now I think Moon Raven has the crystal.

The last time I saw her was in Santa Cruz. She was pregnant and going home to Kansas. She had become a Christian.

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